Jacqueline MacInnes Wood as Steffy
|The Bold and the Beautiful character|
|Portrayed by||Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (2008–)|
|First appearance||September 21, 1999|
|Introduced by||Bradley Bell|
Stephanie "Steffy" Forrester Spencer is a fictional character from the American CBS soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. Created and introduced by Bradley Bell, she is currently portrayed by Jacqueline MacInnes Wood. Steffy and her twin sister Phoebe (MacKenzie Mauzy) were born onscreen as the daughters of supercouple Ridge (Ronn Moss) and Taylor Forrester (Hunter Tylo) during the episode airing on September 21, 1999. For the character's first five-year period, she appeared as a minor. In 2005, she was rapidly aged to a teenager and in 2008 she was aged again to an adult when Wood took over the role.
During her time on the series, Steffy has suffered many losses in her life, which according to Wood is the reason for her "deep seeded issues" and puzzling storylines. Although characterized as a strong-willed, scheming bitch on the outside, Steffy is emotionally starved because of her father's neglect. For part of her life, Steffy grew up motherless after Taylor's supposed death. In 2008, Phoebe was in a fatal car accident and Steffy began dating Phoebe's ex-boyfriend Rick Forrester (Kyle Lowder) soon after.
The character is known for her relationships with various men and her animosity towards the Logan family, particularly her mother's rival Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang) and her own arch-rival Hope Logan (Kimberly Matula). Since 2010, Steffy's storyline has revolved around a love triangle with Hope and her husband Liam Spencer (Scott Clifton). Wood's performance in the role has been popular with audiences and critics, and has garnered her two consecutive nominations for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series in 2012 and 2013.
From 1999 to 2003, Steffy and Phoebe were portrayed by various sets of identical twin child actors. Cameryn McNabb took over the role in 2003. From January to March 2004, Jordan Mella played Steffy. In April 2004, both roles were recast with Keaton and Kylie Rae Tyndall, and Steffy was rapidly aged. Kylie portrayed the role of Steffy until April 2005, when the role was recast with Addison Hoover, whose twin sister Alex Hoover took over the role of Phoebe. The Hoover twins were downgraded to recurring status in November 2005, and eventually left the program. In June 2006, former Guiding Light actress MacKenzie Mauzy took over the role of Phoebe upon the character's return, while Steffy was written out of the series. Steffy was absent from the soap opera until June 4, 2008, when Canadian actress Jacqueline MacInnes Wood took over the part. With the casting of Wood, Phoebe and Steffy were re-written as fraternal twins. A month after Wood's arrival, Mauzy announced her exit from the show and Phoebe was killed off. Wood finds filming on the show very quick; saying, "On the daily [show] we can shoot up to 90 pages, that’s 8 to 12 episodes, in 4 days with sometimes no rehearsal! In films, you shoot 100 pages in 4 months."
In 2010, it was announced that Wood would take a brief break from the program to film the fifth installment in the Final Destination film series, Final Destination 5. Wood recorded several scenes in advance of her planned absence. In May 2012, when The Bold and the Beautiful was shooting Hope and Liam's wedding on location in Italy, Wood performed her own stunts in a drowning scene. Wood learned about her Daytime Emmy nomination just before filming a scene in the Adriatic sea, stating, "I was just about to shoot a scene in the Adriatic sea in Italy. The water was only 54 degrees! [Executive Producer/Head Writer] Brad Bell came up to me and said, "How does it feel to be Emmy nominated?"
In May 2013, news broke that Wood had opted not to renew her contract with the show to take another break. According to Soaps In Depth, "[The producers] threw a lot of money at her to get her to stay, but she thought it was the right time to go". A representative for the show stated, "[Wood] is taking short a break, as she has done in the past, from B&B. She remains as the character of ‘Steffy Forrester’ and is continuing to tape, currently with episodes airing through July 2013 and then beyond". It was later announced that Wood had decided to remain with the series on a recurring basis with episodes airing on July 4 to 12 and September 30 and October 1.
After making sporadic appearances, Wood was then announced to be returning for several episodes from December 12 to 20, 2013.
Jamey Giddens of Zap2It characterized Steffy as "bitch-nasty", while Wood has described her as strong-willed. The program's website said that Steffy is a "stunning fashionista" and a "provocative trendsetter", and added that "when it comes to Steffy Forrester, things are never as they seem. On the surface she’s sexy, stylish, clever, and together but below the surface, Ridge and Taylor’s only surviving daughter is emotionally starved and slowly learning how to love and be loved". By 2011, Wood described Steffy as a "rich bitch" and stated, "I love playing her and developing her character. She is so different from me. It's rather cathartic, and it allows my alter ego to come out on The Bold and The Beautiful set five days a week."
Steffy and her brother Thomas have always dreamed of their parents Ridge (Ron Moss) and Taylor (Hunter Tylo) reuniting. In 2009, the siblings manipulate their parents to get them back together in marriage. The storyline, inspired by The Parent Trap (1961), sees Steffy and Thomas tamper with SMS text messages between Ridge and his mistress Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang) to make Brooke believe that Ridge had dumped her, so she will not interrupt his reunion with Taylor. However, Brooke crashes the wedding after the marriage becomes official. Wood said that she is sometimes puzzled when reading Steffy's scripts, but connects her present storyline to the character's past. She said: "I just think back to all the things Steffy has been through. She has a lot of deep seeded issues. That is where I think it stems from with her father leaving her, losing her sister, her mom sleeping with her sister’s boyfriend, etc. There are just so many traumatic things!
Phoebe's death and relationship with Rick
A big storyline occurred for the character in 2008, when Phoebe is killed after the car her boyfriend Rick Forrester (Kyle Lowder) was driving crashes. Months later, Steffy becomes romantically involved with Rick, who is also in a relationship with her mother, Taylor. Wood said, "I had to play that my fraternal twin is gone, and maybe I am doing this to live her life as well as have fun. She had to fill that void, and she could not talk to anyone. She lost a part of herself. I have to stress that to the viewers," Wood stated. Wood was "completely shocked" with the speed at which the couple were moving, and said that the romance happened through Phoebe's death because of Steffy's raw feelings. However, she still felt that Steffy was in love with Rick and wanted to give herself to him. Lowder said the couple came together at the "height of their emotions when Phoebe died". While describing the romance as "complete honesty and no games", Wood said Steffy felt if she was close to Rick she could be close to Phoebe. However, the romance was short-lived.
Love triangle and pregnancy
Since 2010, Steffy has competed with her arch-rival Hope Logan (Kimberly Matula) for Liam Spencer's (Scott Clifton) affections. Before this, Steffy pines for Hope's first love, Oliver (Zack Conroy). The Hope/Steffy rivalry follows in the tradition of the animosity between Taylor and Hope's mother Brooke, who fights over Ridge in a love triangle that spans three decades. The show's head writer Bradley Bell said, "Hope's presence at Forrester Creations, as well as in Brooke and Ridge's home, sparks an intense competition between Hope and her step-sister Steffy as well as creates new conflict between long-time rivals Brooke and Taylor as each woman is determined to protect her own daughter." Zap2it calls Hope and Steffy "B&B's Next Generation".
Wood has stated that Steffy refuses to give Liam up because of everything she has been through and lost. She said, "It’s hard for her to say goodbye and hard for her to leave ... She wants somebody there but she is very broken inside." After years of uncertainty, in which Liam is married to both Hope and Steffy on separate occasions, Steffy becomes pregnant with his child in 2013. Wood was shocked, and said that Steffy is a "wild child" who likes to go to nightclubs and ride motorcycles, but "everything just stops" with her pregnancy. Initially, Steffy does not tell Liam about the baby because she sees him in bed with Hope, and leaves for Paris. Liam discovers the truth and he marries Steffy at the Forrester Mansion. Just before discovering Steffy is carrying his child, Liam nearly marries Hope in a "room service elopement" scheme arranged by Brooke; an ambush that was described as evil by Zap2it. Wood felt that Steffy is more mature and level-headed as a result of her pregnancy. Steffy later loses the child in a motorbike accident, and becomes unconscious.
Following the birth of this first child, Thomas Forrester, Dr. Taylor Forrester—married to Ridge—becomes pregnant with twins. Throughout the pregnancy, Taylor suffers with tuberculosis, although she delivers the children without medication. Steffy and Phoebe Forrester are born on September 21, 1999, as Taylor almost dies. Steffy is named after her grandmother, Stephanie Forrester (Susan Flannery).
In February 2001, a family trip to Saint Thomas—where Ridge and Taylor renew their vows—ends in devastation when two-year-old Steffy supposedly falls overboard during a storm and is presumed dead. However, Steffy has been kidnapped by Ridge's unstable ex-girlfriend Morgan DeWitt (Sarah Buxton)—who was previously obsessed with having a child with him— and Steffy is confined her to the walls of Morgan's home.
Months after Steffy's supposed death, Taylor visits Morgan and discovers that Steffy is alive. Morgan then takes Taylor and Steffy hostage, but they are saved by Ridge. Morgan tries to flee but is arrested. The next year, Taylor is supposedly killed after being shot by another unstable resident, Sheila Carter (Kimberlin Brown), while trying to save Ridge's former love Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang) from being shot. Much to Thomas, Phoebe and Steffy's dismay, Ridge marries Brooke months later. The children have difficulty accepting Brooke as their stepmother. In 2005, Taylor is found alive and she returns to her marriage to Ridge, having missed much of Steffy's childhood. In 2006, Steffy leaves town for boarding school in England after Taylor and Ridge divorce.
In 2008, a graduated Steffy returns to Los Angeles and begins working for the family fashion house, Forrester Creations. She briefly dates Marcus Walton (Texas Battle), and discovers that he is the son of Brooke's sister Donna Logan (Jennifer Gareis). Phoebe is killed in a car accident after the car she was driving with her boyfriend Rick swerves off the road. Steffy mourns the loss of Phoebe and begins a romance with Rick to feel closer to Steffy. Her family are horrified and eventually break up the relationship.
When businessman Bill Spencer, Jr. (Don Diamont) takes over Forrester Creations, Steffy uses her seductive personality to manipulate the company back, ensuring that the new Forrester Creations excludes the Logan sisters. Steffy takes an interest in Oliver (Zack Conroy)—who is dating Brooke's daughter Hope—but Oliver rejects her. At a pool party, Brooke has sex with Oliver, believing he was Ridge and he believing she was Hope. At Hope's graduation party, a tape supposedly narrated by Steffy appears to expose this scandal. However, it is later revealed that Steffy's narration was manipulated by computer expert Liam Spencer (Scott Clifton), who is Bill's son. Steffy forgives Liam and later develops feelings for him, but he begins a romance with Hope who will not have sex with him until marriage. Steffy travels to Paris for an extended business trip.
Steffy returns from Paris and seeks a relationship with Bill, who is married to Brooke's sister Katie Logan (Heather Tom). When Bill nearly drives Amber Moore (Adrienne Frantz) to her death at a cliff, Steffy—who saves Amber—keeps this a secret. Katie demands that Bill sees a therapist. He later has an emotional affair with Steffy, which ends when Katie has a heart attack after learning of it. Steffy slips in her bathtub, nearly drown herself, but she is saved by Liam, now Hope's fiancé. This reignites her feelings for him. While Hope neglects Liam emotionally during their wedding preparations, Steffy is there for him. Hope watches Steffy and Liam kissing, and dumps him. Liam instantly proposes to Steffy; they travel to Aspen, Colorado days later and marry, despite Hope trying to stop the wedding. Liam, however, cannot choose between Hope and Steffy, ultimately deciding to be with Hope after Bill manipulates Liam, trying to keep him with Steffy. Liam files for divorce, but still in love with him, Steffy refuses to sign the papers.
As Liam and Hope prepare for their wedding, Steffy realizes that she must move on and signs the divorce papers. However, Liam still cannot decide between the two, and tears up the papers and kisses Steffy. Liam confesses his love for Steffy while under the impression that Hope had canceled their wedding. However, the divorce becomes final and he travels to Italy where he marries Hope. Before Hope and Liam's official legal wedding in the United States, Steffy spends a night on the town with Liam. Hope finds out and leaves Liam. Steffy and Liam are reunited, and she soon finds she is pregnant. However, she keeps it to herself when she sees Hope and Liam kissing. Liam eventually finds out about the pregnancy and recommits himself to Steffy, who loses the baby after a motorbike accident soon after. Already deeply hurt over what happened, Steffy becomes even more heartbroken when her doctor tell her that because of the miscarriage she cannot have children. After confiding in Katie and weighing her options, Steffy decides to divorce Liam and leave for Paris to spend time with her father. Even though Liam asks her to come back, she makes clear that she will not change her mind. She firmly believes that Liam and Hope should move on and start a family since she is not able to give Liam another child. Liam listens and proposes to Hope and sends annulment papers to Steffy. At first, Steffy refuses to sign them, however he insists so that she gives in and grants him this wish. Steffy briefly visits LA but on her return trip to Paris she is confronted by Quinn Fuller (Rena Sofer), who insists that Steffy stop Hope and Liam getting married. Leaving Hope free to be with her son Wyatt (Darin Brooks). Steffy gets a call from her doctor saying that the exams she underwent has resulted in her being able to conceive again.
Wood's performance of Steffy has garnered fan popularity and critical acclaim. On-Air On-Soaps said Wood had the "unique challenge" of making the despised character into a more complex and well-rounded one, who fans were rooting for, while also praising her as "one of the hardest working younger actresses in daytime today". Tommy Garrett, writing for the website Highlight Hollywood, has praised Wood's portrayal of Steffy, frequently listing her as one of his favorite performers. Garrett enjoys Wood playing a story in which she is "shocked to learn things". When Steffy became pregnant, Garrett said that while he "loved seeing Jacquie play a vixen, it’s equally a fascinating and entertaining watching her as a heroine". He noted that Steffy still had "that edge", and Wood is a "creative genius, an actress who just seems to get better with time". Regan Cellura of Zap2it criticized the motorcycle crash plot in which Steffy miscarries her baby, writing "I’m sorry, but whose idea was it for a pregnant lady to ride a motorcycle?" and "I can’t even muster up a little snark other than I can’t stand baby killers".
Wood's performance earned her a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series in 2012 and 2013. For the 2012 Daytime Emmy Awards, Wood submitted the scenes in which Steffy is informed of the end of her affair with Bill. A 2013 Daytime Confidential poll entitled "Who should win Outstanding Younger Actress?" saw Wood rank ahead of fellow daytime actresses Hunter King (The Young and the Restless), Kristen Alderson and Lindsey Morgan (General Hospital), with readers favoring her as the likely winner of the award. For the 2013 Daytime Emmy Awards, Wood submitted the scenes where Steffy surprises Liam by presenting him with signed annulment papers.
- Steffy and Liam were married twice; once from October 2011 until May 2012. They re-married from April to September 2013. However, their marriages were in consecutive years (2011 to 2013).
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